Finally, my post on my night time routine. Please bear with me as I might get a little long-winded here. Let's get right to it.
I'm the kind of girl who likes to strip down when I walk in the door after a long day. First goes the bra, then the makeup. I wash my face first with a basic cleanser, then I tone. I switch between a Rosacea toner and the Pixie Glow Tonic. If my skin seems a little sensitive I go for the Rosacea one, and if I'm having a good skin day I will use the Glow Tonic. I do love this Glow Tonic; you can only get it at Target, by the way.
Then I go about my evening. This next part is the life-changing, clinically proven secret to keeping your youth: Retin-A. It is also a skin saver for those suffering with acne. Retin-A will turn back the hands of time. It's literally what every dermatologist and plastic surgeon can agree on to fight the signs of aging.
While it's a miracle cream, there is so much to say about it. To give you the short version, Retin-A sheds your dead skin cells, forcing your skin to produce collagen, and bring fresh skin cells to the surface. That's why it works to fight acne as well. Your skin cells rejuvenate at night while you sleep. That's why they say a good night's sleep is so important, so use your Retinol at night.
Here are the rules about using Retin-A that everyone should know:
*Your skin must be dry after washing before you apply it. I mean DRY! They recommend waiting at least 20 minutes after you wash. That's why I wash my face after work, then apply the cream right before bed.
*You MUST wear sunscreen! Because the Retin-A is pushing forward your fresh skin cells, they will be super sensitive to the sun and you will burn, causing more harm than good. Sunscreen is very important when using this product.
*You have to be careful about facial waxing. Tell the person who waxes you that you are using a Retin-A. There is a different kind of wax they will use so they don't rip your skin off - trust me on this 😉
*While wrinkles around the eye are of concern to all of us, you have to keep it away from the eyes. Retin-A is known to "travel" on it's own, so trust the process and keep it off your lid and not too close under the eye.
Now that we addressed what not to do, let me tell you how to introduce your skin to Retin-A. Because it's such a power-house of a product, it comes with some baggage. Some very ugly baggage. During the first 12 weeks using this cream your skin will shed, be overly dry, and very red. Pretty, right? In my research I found a way around this, sort of.
The best thing to do is start with over the counter Retinols. These will break you into the Retin-A world. Obviously, they are not as strong as the dermatologist prescribed product, but they do still offer benefits. The over-the-counter versions have retinoic-acid in them, but basically they are encapsulated or coated with other materials that don't allow them to penetrate as deeply as their prescribed counter part. That's not a bad thing. Use one of them now to get you started. I started this process back in January. I made an appointment with my dermatologist and couldn't get in with him until July. In the meantime, I purchased the Roc Retinol cream. Even over-the-counter creams should be slowly introduced. I started by using it once a week. After a few weeks I went to twice a week, and so on.
Then came time to visit my derm and finally get on the real deal. At this point, I am only using a .025% Tretanoin. Once again, I started by using it once a week for a few weeks, then to twice a week. Once I get up to every night I will request the .050%.
I have noticed a big change in my skin this year; especially recently being on the prescribed Retin-A. Another secret I can share is that Walmart carries Differin. It's the only over-the-counter true Retin-A. It's only a .001%, but it's a start.
Your skin may become very dry and tight; this is normal, and part of the process. If you need to use a moisturizer, you are again going to have to wait about 20 minutes. You want the Retin-A to really absorb into the skin, and not be diluted by your moisturizer. Annoying, I know, but that's how it goes.
Retin-A can be expensive. There are some coupons on www.goodrx.com, and you can request a prescription for Tretinoin which is made at the pharmacy, and often much cheaper. You only need a pea size for the entire face, so one tube will last you quite a while. I believe I paid maybe $60 for my tube.
Please, please, take my recommendations, and take it slow. I know you want results; I do too, but if you jump right in you will hate what happens to your skin, and you will give up. Slow and steady wins the race, my friends.